Portland, Oregon Car Accidents: Why Driving with a Hangover Can Be Dangerous

We all know that it’s dangerous to drive drunk. But do you know that it can also be dangerous to drive the day after when you’re suffering from a hangover?

The National Safety Commission recently published an alert discussing the effects that a hangover can have on a person’s driving ability. The findings come from a study by Brunel University in England. When test subjects that were sober and those with hangovers were monitored while using driving simulators to drive a five-mile course:

• Drivers that were hungover drove an average of 10mph faster than sober drivers.
• Sober drivers tended to drive about 32.6 mph, while hungover drivers drove at a speed of about 41.7 mph.
• While sober drivers had a tendency to drive above the speed limit just 6.3% of the time, hungover drivers did so about 26% of the time.
• Hungover drivers drove outside their lanes four times more than sober drivers did.
• Hungover drivers had two times as many traffic violations, including those involving red light running.

Once a person’s BAC drops to zero, a hangover can go last anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. Hangovers can cause headaches, lethargy, lightheadedness, a decrease in attention and concentration, fatigue, sleep deprivation, stomach irritation, and sensitivity to light.

With these side effects, it is obvious that hungover drivers are often not the most attentive drivers, which could make them more prone to getting involved in or causing a deadly Oregon car accident.

While “Don’t drink and drive” is advice that we’ve heard often, motorists that are hungover may want to think twice before getting behind the steering wheel of a car the morning after a night spent drinking too much. In addition to possibly getting involved in or causing a Portland, Oregon car crash, the hungover driver risks hurting pedestrians and other motorists.

The Hazards of Driving with a Hangover, The National Safety Commission, June 5, 2009
A Few Too Many?, The New Yorker, May 26, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Drowsy & Distracted Driving, NHTSA
Distracted Driving, NSC.org


Contact Oregon car crash lawyer Matt Kaplan to discuss your personal injury case.